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Hi-Jinx and Low Rolling in Vegas

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by gotavegasjones, Jun 21, 2005.

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  1. gotavegasjones

    gotavegasjones VIP Whale

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    My Trip Report

    Trip Report May 30 –June 3, 2005
    Harrah’s & Green Valley Ranch

    Monday, May 30
    This was our first Las Vegas adventure since we survived a 10 night trip in July 2004. We receive many offers for free or reasonable rates on rooms from several properties. The offers from Sunset Station, Green Valley Ranch, Palace Station, Harrah’s, Stratosphere , Las Vegas Club, Tropicana, Aladdin, New York, New York, MGM Grand, TI, The Plaza, Mandalay Bay, Bellagio, Paris and Bally’s all looked good to me. I was hoping for some hotel hopping. My wife wanted none of that packing, unpacking several times during a short (5 day) trip. We decided to take Harrah’s up on three free nights and one night at $39.00. Once in Vegas, she asked about the offer for free nights at Green Valley Ranch. A phone call to GVR resulted in us spending our last two nights in town at GVR. I cancelled the last night of the Harrah’s reservation – so we spent two nights at Harrah’s and two nights at Green Valley Ranch and we paid $0 at check-out in both instances. Don’t you just love Las Vegas?

    We flew Southwest out of San Antonio Monday morning May 30. The flight was an easy non-stop 2 hour 35 minutes. McCarron was not crowded or busy. Mind you, many other airports around the country would consider this holiday traffic very busy. The baggage claim area was not a hassle as the luggage was received in 15 minutes or less.

    I had a bit of a celebrity sighting as I walked out of the baggage claim area headed for the Thrifty Shuttle. If you watch HBO, you may have seen a program called Taxi Cab Confessions. People get into cabs not knowing they are being recorded on audio and film. The results range from bizarre to stupid and sometimes entertaining. Anyhow, one of the taxi cab drivers often seen in this production is a blond headed woman from the east coast who now lives in Vegas and drives a cab. As I walked out of the baggage claim area, a cab was driving by and the person at the helm was the woman from the HBO show! Well, I thought it was cool.

    The shuttle to Thrifty was a bit of a hassle. Lots of folks headed there. We had to wait for a second bus. Once at Thrifty we were quickly on our way in a nice 4-door Sebring. Using my Blue Chip membership to book and the Blue Chip Members line at the rental shop saved time and money. The five day rental cost $125 and that total included all fees and taxes.

    The first stop was a Target store out on Flamingo at Maryland Parkway east of the strip. We purchased a case of bottled water, some snacks for the room and cigarette lighters.

    Hard Rock Café Hotel and Casino appeared before us as we made our way towards the strip. We were hungry. Mr. Lucky’s Café in the Hard Rock Casino has decent food. We ordered the $7.77 Steak and Shrimp special which you must ask for ‘cause it is not on the menu. This meal is a good for the price. We split the steak, garlic mashed potatoes and salad. She ate the shrimp. I had a cup of split pea soup. Nice meal for $14.00.

    There were lots of twenty something’s just getting up and having breakfast in the café as we had our lunch. Many, many beautiful young things were wandering around in poolside attire. I likey. Nice way to make our transition into Las Vegas vacation mode. This might become a tradition for the beginning of future trips.

    After lunch we pointed the Sebring towards downtown. Headed up Paradise, then north on LV Blvd. Wandered a bit, somewhat lost. Consulted a map and located the Gambler’s General Store. I wanted to purchase some strategy cards. They had a limited selection. We did purchase a card for single deck Black Jack and a couple of cards for DDB VP.

    Finally, after being in town for three hours we decided we oughta check into Harrah’s. The check-in line took about 25 minutes. Bribes were offered, none were accepted. We landed in room 2611. This room had a decent view of the pool area, partial view of Caesars and good peek at the mountains to the west. This room is in the Carnival Tower. Having never stayed here before I can’t compare it to other rooms in this or other towers. The room was clean, not worn and appeared to have been recently redone. It has pleasant décor. The king bed was comfortable. The armoire had storage space and contained a TV. There were night stands and a low slung dresser. No closet, just a place to hang some things outside the bathroom near the front door. No safe. The bathroom was adequate, nothing special. A sink in a long counter, a shower/tub combo, hairdryer, very low to the ground commode, and the usual stuff for toiletries, rounded out the amenities here. The room had a mini-bar cabinet with lots of stuff in it. We never opened the case. I t had a sign on it which informed you that if you moved something in the case you had purchased that item. Except for the mini-bar crap it was about on par with rooms we have stayed in at Stratosphere and Imperial Palace. (Though one room at IP once was much more worn.)

    Around three o’clock in the afternoon we did some gambling. I am not a fan of Harrah’s so I was having a hard time getting in the mood to gamble here. Finally, I decide to play some Double Double Bonus Video Poker. We had to look hard to find some decent pay tables. My wife and I bounced around on several machines for a few hours. Ultimately I break away even and she is down some. This became the pattern for our trip.

    Early evening we decided to go see the Venetian. In the past 4 years we have visited Vegas 6 times and this is our first time to walk into the Venetian. This joint is BIG. We wandered around a gawked at the canal, the canal shops, and the casino. This place smells so good. We got players cards and ran a few bucks through VP machines. Hunger was becoming an issue.

    After searching and searching we finally located the Grand Lux Café. It was worth the search. My wife ordered a pasta dish which included some huge shrimp. I had the Malaysian Chicken Salad. Both were way good. The Cadillac Margarita was way good too! Good meal, good time for $42.

    We strolled back towards the hotel, stopping along the way to watch the Volcano at Mirage erupt once. The traffic on Las Vegas Blvd. was amazingly light compared to other times we’ve been here. This would remain the case all through the week.

    One back at Harrah’s I looked for a TV to see how the Spurs had done. They lost. We bopped around the casino for a short time. We spent some time throwing a little money in some slots and VP machines. My wife lost a little; I was able to hit a couple of good hands at VP. I also hit for a little on a slot machine. I was up $180. The decision was made to head for the room and the bed. We were in bed snoozing and watching TV before 10:00pm. I was shocked at myself for being in bed so early on my first night in Vegas. But, I was too tired to want to do anything about it!
     
  2. gotavegasjones

    gotavegasjones VIP Whale

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    Tuesday, May 31
    Having hit the sack so early the evening before, we are wide awake very early. In fact, we were showered and out of the room before 5:45am. We walked down to Barbary Coast. The Victorian Room wasn’t too busy and we were seated quickly. We each had one of the Midnight Teaser Breakfast specials. This is a very good and inexpensive meal ($2.95) if you don’t order coffee. The coffee order cost almost as much as the special. Even so, it is a good meal at a good price.

    After breakfast we headed to the casino at Paris Las Vegas. My wife and I like this casino/hotel. We settled at a $5 minimum bet Black Jack table. I took a marker, gave $200 in chips to her and we began to gamble. We played from 6:49am until almost 12:00pm. I made bets from $25 up to $100 during that time. She mostly bet $5 & $10 a hand. At one point I was up about $550 and a little later I was down $500. She wanted to keep playing when I was ready to go ‘cause I was up $350. So we kept playing. By the time we do color up I’m back to even and she’s lost her buy-in. She’s down several hundy for the trip at this point. Cost me $200 to pay off the marker. I no likey! This trend followed us the whole trip. She played good strategy the whole trip but never had a good run of cards.

    We stopped in at the Flamingo. Put money in some VP machines and a few bucks in Blazing 7’s slots. I lost $40 in each case. My wife made a little money at a slot machine and put that ticket in a VP machine. She increased her winnings there and collected a ticket with $54.

    We decided to eat at Chipotle’s which we had seen during our adventures the night before. We noticed it in a small food court between Casino Royale and Harrah’s. We split an order of crispy chicken tacos, sodas, and some guacamole with chips. Good lunch for less than $9.00.

    On the way back to the room I manage to lose another $40 at DDB VP. The room offered a quiet, cool place to relax and snooze for a couple of hours. While it was warm out of doors, the temp never rose above 94 during our entire stay. The mornings and evenings were very pleasant and the afternoons were warm but, not nearly as HOT as we have experienced during other trips to Vegas.

    After our nap we made plans to spend some time downtown. We both wanted to eat a shrimp cocktail at the Golden Gate. I wanted to play some craps at a table which HurricaneMikey was working. And, finally, we wanted to have dinner atop Binion’s in The Ranch Steakhouse. All of those goals were accomplished.

    We parked the car at Binion’s. Went upstairs to the steakhouse and made a reservation for later. The player’s club gave us new cards for Binion’s. We’ll keep the old Horseshoe cards as mementos. Who knows, they maybe worth something in a few years?

    We strolled into the Golden Gate and HurricaneMikey was the stickman on an idle craps table. I walked up and asked the crew if they would mind helping a craps novice learn the ropes while he lost some money. They were more than happy to oblige. I then said, “I understand that the Captain works here.” They all looked at me with puzzled expressions. I continued, “Yeah, I want to learn to play craps from the Captain.” More puzzled looks. “I was told that the Captain of the Ship of Fools works here.” At that Mikey laughs and says to the others, “It’s another fan from the board.” Indeed. I’ve been a fan of Mikey’s buffoonery for several years now. It was really good to meet him. He is a very dear man who is lots of fun and always ready for a good time. He was working his last shift, and in fact, his last hour at the Golden Gate. He and his crew helped me learn a bit about craps and after ½ hour or so I was even. I threw some chips on the table as a bet for the boys. Mikey invited my wife and me to join him and some others at the Las Vegas Club bar after his shift ended at 6:00pm.

    My wife and I had our shrimp cocktail at the Golden Gate’s San Francisco Deli. Good as usual. We wandered on the Fremont for a while, and then met Mikey and a colleague at the LVC bar. We had a fun visit knocking back several Corona’s. Someone, maybe I, suggested we play some blackjack. Mikey said the Plaza had some $5 tables with good rules. They did and we played for 45 minutes or so. That is how long it took me to lose my $50 buy-in. My wife lost her buy-in too. I think Mikey won some.

    The folks at the Las Vegas Talk message board were having a meet at Orleans on June 1 at 3:00pm. We made tentative plans to meet Mickey then, said our good byes and headed to The Ranch Steakhouse at Binion’s.

    The Ranch Steakhouse is one of the best deals in Las Vegas. HurricaneMikey has a very good review of this place posted in the Restaurant & Buffet section on the travel2vegas message board.

    We were seated right at the windows overlooking the street that runs between the Fremont Street Experience and the Plaza Hotel/Casino. The view from this 24th floor perch is very cool. Views of the north strip, downtown and the surrounding mountains are all beautiful from this vantage point.

    We ordered the 16oz USDA PRIME Ribeye and had the cook split it for us. Our sides were garlic mashed potatoes and roasted asparagus. We started off by sharing a Caesar salad and an appetizer of seafood stuffed mushroom caps. We had almost the exact same meal here last year. And, I pray we can do it again on a future trip. The food is excellent, the room and view from the 24th floor is awesome and the service is very good. Our meal including a very generous tip cost us less than $60. Do yourself a big favor and have a meal here on your next trip to Vegas.

    After dinner we hung out on the Fremont for a while. We enjoyed the band playing covers of classic rock tunes. There was a good sampling of the types of folk who make America wonderful, wandering about this Tuesday evening. I especially enjoyed one young mid-westerner gal who’d decided to ride the grain train. She and her friend had transformed into sexy, goddess dancers whose mission was to seduce one of the members of the band. They were having a grand time. They looked splendid in their beads with yard long beverages in hand. Their husbands were standing a ways off and were not enjoying the scene as much. The husbands did help when one of them could no longer maintain her balance. As always the show under the canopy was excellent.

    We were back on the strip and in our room at Harrah’s by 1:00am. I was back in the casino a short time later, but had no enthusiasm for gambling in Harrah’s and did not feel like walking or driving anywhere on this night. So, it was off to bed soon after.
     
  3. gotavegasjones

    gotavegasjones VIP Whale

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    Wednesday, June 1
    My wife and I are both up and moving early again, though not as early as yesterday. We grab some coffee at the Starbucks in the lobby area of Harrah’s. Go to the valet and get the Sebring for a jaunt over to the new Wynn Las Vegas. Having heard that the Valet area at Wynn is a bit of a mess we chose to self-park. The place is designed so that the elevator to the casino releases you very near the Poker Room. The Poker Room at Wynn is very nice. Even so early in the morning there were 30-40 players at several tables.

    We really liked this place. I love the exterior architecture. My wife loved the interior design. Many others have posted their excellent reviews of Steve’s new place, so I will keep my remarks to what I enjoyed about Wynn. The landscaping outside the hotel is beautiful. The flowers and landscaping in the registration area are as beautiful as the conservatory at Bellagio. We enjoyed the views of the mountain and the lake from several locations around the property. I think I’d enjoy drinks at the Parasol Up bar some evening when the waterfall and mountain are lit up in all their glory. I loved the playful use of colors throughout. The tile work is beautiful. As one walks around the property one can’t help but notice the attention to all the little details. This is true of the casino, the restaurants, the shops and the customer service throughout the property.

    We were looking for some breakfast. We decided against The Buffet and Terrace Pointe Café and opted for breakfast at The Country Club Grill. The staff was incredibly gracious. The service was excellent and the food was very good. I ordered eggs benedict and my wife had the fruit plate. Her fruit plate was a beautiful presentation of watermelon, strawberry, blueberry, raspberry, pineapple, mango, and cantaloupe. The eggs benedict were superb. The sauce was tart, but not too much so. If it hadn’t been such a classy joint I’d have picked up the plate and licked if off. We enjoyed sharing this feast. The coffee was excellent. The view from this restaurant is of the 18th fairway, the green and the waterfall behind it. The golf course looks tremendous. This meal cost us $44.00.

    Following our elegant and leisurely breakfast we headed to the casino. We intended to sign up for the player’s card, put a little money through some machines and head back to the mid-strip area. The folks at the player’s card sign up place just handed us some cards and said to use these and when we had 500 points accumulated they would enroll us in their rewards program. And, at that time we’d receive two free passes to The Buffet and $10 free play on the cards.

    Off we went to play. I stuck my card into a DB VP machine and was informed on the screen that my name was Virginia and that I had 528 points already. Awesome! I played $20 through the machine. Up and down for 30 minutes before that $20 was toast. When my wife put her card in a similar machine, the machine welcomed her as Bonafacio and let her know that she had amassed 950 points. After we’d each played $20 through our machines we approached the rewards desk to be enrolled in the Wynn rewards program and to claim our booty since we now had over 500 points on our cards. The lady quickly realized that we weren’t Virginia or Bonafacio. She also realized we had not played enough to amass 500 points. Another couple was at the counter with the same problem. It was a glitch in their system. As a courtesy for taking up our precious time they enrolled us and set up our Wynn account and gave us 2 free passes to The Buffet. I’m very proud of my red Wynn card. If I ever stay at Wynn it will serve as my room key and my player’s card. What’s in your wallet?

    I must say that there were many pretty people in the Wynn hotel/casino. It is an elegant place and there are a lot of elegant, beautifully appointed folks hanging out there. While I’m certainly not one of the beautiful people I did not feel out of place and was treated very well by the casino/hotel staff. When the rates get more reasonable, and they will, we’ll treat ourselves to a couple of nights there.

    My wife had a cash ticket from Flamingo which we’d forgotten to redeem at the cage. So, we headed there next. Then we walked over to Paris and played Black Jack. Once again I took a marker, gave my wife some chips and proceeded to play up and down for several hours. She had another losing session. And, when she lost her buy-in I colored up. I was down about $40 for the session after having placed bets in the $10 - $50 range. I left the marker open ‘cause I wanted to pay it off with their money and not my own.

    We hit the room at Harrah’s to freshen up and do some packing in advance for our move to Green Valley Ranch this evening. We then headed to The Orleans for the LVT Meet.

    Since this was the first meet I have ever attended I have nothing to compare it to. The meet seemed petty large to me. I’d estimate at its highest point there were 35 people in attendance, maybe more. It was very nice to meet a number of people whom I’ve known on these Vegas boards for several years. LV Norm was there and took the meet photo. HurricaneMickey was there and we smoked some cigars together. Then Mikey, peanutmnm and I headed over to a craps table. We had a lot of fun as Mikey had two good rolls. Peanutmnm broke even, I colored up with a $54 dollar profit and I think Mikey made over a hundredfiddy in our short craps adventure. Peanutmnm (Randy) went to retrieve his wife from the Spa at Orleans, Mikey and I retreated to the Mardi Gras bar for some Captain and 7’s and to smoke another cigar. A very nice afternoon. My wife appeared after having made a significant donation to the Orleans VP and WOF machines.

    We said “Adios” to Mikey and headed back to Harrah’s to grab our stuff, find some dinner and check-in at GVR.

    After we got our bags from the bell desk and retrieved the car from the valet I drove right next door to the Imperial Palace parking garage. I figured we had some cash back or comp dollars to use up on our account there. I was right. We had about $45 we could use towards purchases in the gift shops or restaurants. We made our way to the 5th floor dining plaza and decided on a meal at the Rib House. She wanted a rack of ribs. So that’s what we ordered. A full rack of ribs was delivered to us. The ribs were very well prepared. The side dishes of cole slaw and green beans were good too. The big servings of cornbread were most tasty. We walked out of there very satisfied. This is a good restaurant. I recommend it as a good, reasonably priced, mid-strip location for a relaxed, informal meal. The meal took about $35 in comps from our player’s card account. The Sea House and Embers steakhouse are also located on the 5th floor dinning plaza at IP and like The Rib House are good, reasonably priced restaurants in the mid-strip area.

    I think it was around 9:30pm when we began our journey out to Green Valley Ranch. Check-in was a breeze. Other than hotel staff, we were the only people in the lobby. This place is gorgeous. It is a quality resort. It is not Bellagio/Wynn/Mirage/Venetian, but it isn’t far behind. The rooms are exceptional. I especially enjoyed the coffee maker.

    Our room had a king bed with feather pillows and duvet, overstuffed sitting chair and ottoman, writing desk and chair, large armoire with TV cabinet and lots of storage space. A large closet with bathrobes, iron and ironing board, a safe, and wooden hangars for shirts and trousers. There was a table with the same stuff you’d see in a mini-bar. We didn’t partake. $39 for a little bottle (350ml) of some marginal merlot! You gotta be kidding me. The bathroom was luxurious. Large soaking tub, separate glassed in shower, and the sink set in a table with storage below. Lots of fluffy, high quality towels. There is a separate water closet for the commode. The toiletries (free stuff) in the bathroom were excellent. Shampoo, conditioner, body wash, two types of really good bars of soap, vanity kit, shoe cloth and some stuff I can’t remember. I may have never smelled so good in Vegas before! All in all this was an excellent room. This was as nice as the Suite Calais we stayed in at Paris last July. I can’t wait to stay here again. And, I will ‘cause I still have an offer for free nights to use later this summer.

    Once we’d received our baggage from bell service we freshened up and hit the casino for a short while. The casino is usually quiet here. This night it was very quiet. Then we decided to drive over to Sunset Station and check out HurricaneMikey in action as a dealer on the Black Jack tables. Sunset was slow and quiet too. We visited with Mikey for a short time before we bought into the only open $5 table. We played for an hour or so and when the buy-in was gone we called it a night.

    Once back at GVR I gave DDB VP a try. I was up about $185 after an hour and put $100 in a $1 WOF machine praying for lightning to strike. No lightning just $50 gone in about 7 minutes. So I cashed it out and called it a night. Man o man the room at GVR was nice to come home to. The king bed was so comfortable, the bedding was luxurious. We had a great nights sleep.
     
  4. gotavegasjones

    gotavegasjones VIP Whale

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    Thursday, June 2
    Some quality time with my wife poolside began the day. The pool area is not huge. And, early in the morning there were very few people out there. Some staff getting stuff ready for the day, young families playing in the water and spa before it gets too hot. The pool has these really cool cabana like shelters with a large padded bed to lounge on out of the sun. Each shelter also has a set of chairs lounges and a table nearby. Great place to lounge, read, drink and stay cool. We lounged in the morning shade, enjoying the cool breeze, reading the complimentary USA Today and drinking coffee. This is such a nice way to begin a day in Las Vegas.

    We get showered and dressed for a day on the strip. We drove up Maryland Parkway and turn left at Tropicana to arrive at the strip. Drove up strip just checking out what’s new or different since last trip. We made a quick stop in Harrah’s to officially check-out. They were having some promotion with Coca-Cola and the Total Rewards program. For a few minutes of our time we received two 12-packs of soda.

    From Harrah’s we walk down to Paris and eat at the J.J. Boulangerie café and bakery in the mall area on the way to Bally’s. We have substantial comps built up on our player’s account so we just pulled a comp ticket for $30 out of the kiosk/machine at the Rewards Center to cover the cost of this meal. We have eaten here a couple times on previous trips. Once again it proved to be a fine place to have a good lunch. We shared a sandwich, salad and a dessert. The meal is less than the comp ticket so the remainder goes back to our account.

    I like the way Caesars Entertainment has the comp system set-up. I imagine it won’t last after Harrah’s takes over.

    We spent some time over at the Forum Shops in Caesars. We haven’t been in this place for several years. I wanted to see the new stores and the spiral escalators. Those goals were accomplished. I also wanted to get tickets for the Tribute to the Rat Pack at a half-price ticket outlet. I was sure I’d read that there was a tix4tonight in the Forum Shops. I argued with my wife over this fact. There was some type of ticket kiosk in the Forum Shops. It wasn’t a half-price outlet. I let them know of my dissatisfaction that they were not! It was only later that evening that I remembered what I’d read about was a half-price place in the Fashion Show Mall, not the Forum Shops. My bad. We ended up at the ticket place in front of the Peppermill restaurant and purchased half-price tix for the Rat Pack tribute for that evening. The two tickets and the service fee cost me a little over $56.

    We drove around gawking at stuff on the strip. Traffic was light for Las Vegas Blvd. mid-strip. Then, we pointed the Sebring towards Green Valley Ranch.

    Man o man this is a nice room to come home to! We lounged for a short while.

    After dressing for the evening we made our way To Wynn Las Vegas. Self parked the rental car. We spent some time watching the folks in the Poker Room. There were a few folks playing whom I’ve seen on television. While we are standing there a young kid walks in to take his place at a table. This kid looked like he couldn’t be any older that 17. He is dressed like one of the refugees from the grunge rocker/kurt cobain days of the early 90’s. He has a big dirty backpack slung across his shoulder and back. The other players at the table are watching him as he calls for chips and takes a huge stack of cash out of his backpack. This stack of money is eight inches thick. It is held together by three (3) thick rubber bands. He peels eight or ten bills out of the stack, replaces the rubber bands, puts the money back in the backpack and leaves the room as a runner takes his money and leaves a bunch of chips at his seat. I wondered where he was going. Then, I realized he’d probably gone to put the rest of his money somewhere safe. I enjoyed watching these few moments. We then made our way to The Buffet at Wynn.

    I really liked this space. The Buffet is set in an area with multiple rooms. The rooms are of varying size. Each room has entry to the area where the buffet is arranged. What I liked most about this space was the use of color. The colors from the promotion material for the Wynn show Le Reve, and the colors used in the tile work throughout the property are utilized in the buffet area. There are also lots and lots of flowers and greenery in this space. For me this was a very attractive and comfortable space to spend some time and enjoy a meal with my wife.

    The food at The Buffet was excellent. We didn’t gorge or try to taste everything in the joint. We each scanned the offerings and chose several dishes we thought we both might enjoy. We then took servings which would allow just a bit more than a taste for each of us. We sampled crab legs (already cracked), big peeled shrimp, Manhattan clam chowder, bay scallop cervechi, Caesar salad, several kinds of sushi, fingerling potatoes, sautéed mushrooms, spinach pizza, roasted asparagus, chicken ten dory, chicken satay, chicken curry, prime rib, flank steak (the best of all) calzone, lemon tart, crème brule, and chocolate mouse. The coffee with dessert was great. We were only mildly stuffed when we departed. The service was good and attentive. If you like the upscale buffets and don’t mind spending upwards of $25 for a dinner buffet, you’ll like the Wynn offering. If you are like me and think any buffet which cost more than $6.95 is outrageous, you should probably avoid this place. I’m very grateful for the comp to the Wynn buffet. I’m sure he won’t miss the $55.95 it cost them to feed us.

    After retrieving the car from self parking we made our way to the Greek Isles Hotel and Casino to see their show Tribute to the Rat Pack. It would be hard to imagine a greater contrast than that of the Wynn Las Vegas to Greek Isles! Maybe Park Avenue in Manhattan compared to the South Bronx would be an adequate analogy, though I’m not sure. Greek Isles is a dump of the first degree.

    The show was funny, nostalgic, and well scripted and choreographed. I recommend this show to anyone who has the least sense of awareness about old school Vegas and the Rat Pack’s place in that history. The show is just very cool. The night we attended (June 2) was a first night performance for the guy who played Sammy Davis, Jr. He did a great job. You’d never have known it was his first night.

    Following the show we drove down the strip all the way to the 215 and then made our way to GVR. We changed into some more casual attire and hit the casino for several hours. I made some bucks playing video poker. Every time I’d made 50% more than I’d put in the machine, I cash it out, hold the winnings back and then risk the original amount again. Going to bed that night on the heels of a winning session felt good.

    Back in the room, my wife fell asleep fairly quickly and I watched a good portion of Field of Dreams. Great movie, great room to watch it in. Good nights sleep.
     
  5. gotavegasjones

    gotavegasjones VIP Whale

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    Friday, June 3
    I was wide awake around 6:30am. I threw on some clothes and looked for a Black Jack table. I bought in for a hundy at a $10 min table. I was really noticing the sleep deprivation I always experience in Las Vegas. The coffee and Bailey’s probably didn’t help my shakiness. I played for almost an hour and colored up with $150 when my wife called to tell me she was at the pool. I was glad to inform her that in addition to several coffees and bailey’s I had $50 of GVR money to show for my early morning coffee hunt. Last year at Binion’s on a similar coffee hunt, 2 coffees with bailey’s cost me $150.

    The pool on this morning is even more delightful than yesterday. The air is way cool. The temp was like 68. That afternoon’s high was only 84. We lounged by the pool for a good while. We read the paper, and then had a good soak in the spa (Jacuzzi pool).

    We have bunches of points on our Station’s Boarding Pass cards so we cashed some in at the GVR breakfast buffet. It is a nice buffet. Price per person at this breakfast buffet is $6.99. If you’ve eaten at The Orleans buffet or Sunset Station, then you have had almost the same experience as this. Nothing terribly fancy here, just good food for a reasonable price. We had their version of eggs benedict (ok), wife had an omelet prepared (very good), ate lots of fresh fruit, some taters, drank some juice. We were quite full when we went back to the room to pack our stuff. We gambled for a bit, checked out and then headed for the strip.

    We decided we’d self-park at Paris, spend the afternoon at a Black Jack table, eat a late lunch, grab a snack for the plane, return the rental car and just barely catch our non-stop flight back to San Antonio. Well that is how the day turned out.

    After, parking the car in the Paris garage we quickly made our way to the casino and I found a $10 min table. She went looking for a lucky VP or WOF machine.

    When I approached the idle table I told the dealer, “Steve, we’re on a mission, you and I.” He replied “oh, really,” with a British accent. “Yes” I said, “Our mission is to win enough money in the next several hours to pay off a marker with house money.” “Let’s get started!” was his response.

    Initially, it was me against the dealer. Then a couple of guys in town on business sat down for a short while. Then the table stayed fairly full, 4-6 players over the next three hours. My wife showed up about the time the two businessmen were heading to the airport. Having lost all her money to the machines and wanted to play Black Jack. Of course, that meant I had to buy her some chips. She bought in and we had a good time gambling for several hours. I began my traditional last afternoon in Vegas “let’s drink all the free Maker’s Mark we can handle” campaign. The cards came off and on; I was up a little, then down a bit. Our dealer was consistently relieved by a young Serbian woman. When she was dealing I usually won. So the next time she dealt, I increased my betting and racked up enough chips to pay off the marker. I had them hold my seat at the table while I went to the cage and paid the marker. The rest of the afternoon I drank Maker’s Mark and visited with folks at the table and just tried to stay even. My wife even had her only winning session for the trip and we walked away from the table with a tidy little profit.

    We then went to the kiosk at the rewards center to pull out some comp tickets. I was drunk and needed to eat before we took the car back and headed for the airport. We went to Le Café, Paris’ coffee shop. It is nicer than most of the coffee shops I’ve been in around town. My wife ordered a filet with all the trimmings. I had scallops which were presented in a bowl like dish and wrapped in a delicate pastry. While waiting for our meal, I went to J.J. Boulangerie and ordered some food to go for the flight home. I had them prepare an Italian sandwich, a turkey wrap, sides of potato salad and a couple of café lattes (which we drank with our meal at Le Café). I also had a berry crepe prepared for my wife which she enjoyed immensely about halfway through our flight home. The meal at Le Café cost about $38 which we paid with the comp ticket. I used another comp ticket to pay the cost for our flight home meal and it was about $25. We ate the wrap and sandwich the next day, ‘cause we slept most of the flight home.

    We visited with a woman in the café for a while then realized we better get a move on if we were gonna make our flight. We dash to the parking lot. Where the heck is a gas station? $17.25 into the gas tank and we are rolling into the Thrifty return lot. 2 minutes later we are on the bus headed to the Southwest skycap. Check-in, security was all a breeze and before you know it I’m waking up and we are on final approach into San Antonio. Another great trip to Vegas in the books.

    later, GVJ
     
  6. Annie Vegas

    Annie Vegas Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2005
    Messages:
    376
    Location:
    Boston
    Sorry I'm new to the lingo. What's GVR?
     
  7. ChristaU

    ChristaU Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2005
    Messages:
    181
    Location:
    oregon
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    10
    green valley ranch
     
  8. GNH2000

    GNH2000 Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2002
    Messages:
    395
    Location:
    Manchester,NH
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    11
    GVJ goes to GVR!

    Great TR!
     
  9. HurricaneMikey

    HurricaneMikey A-List Buffoon

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2002
    Messages:
    5,838
    Location:
    Southeast of Sin City
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    25
    Scott--

    That was a damn fine trip report! Thanks for putting in all the time and effort to get it done. It sounded like a wonderful vacation.

    So when are you coming back?

    By the way, GNH, love the avatar!

    Mikey
     
  10. Annie Vegas

    Annie Vegas Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2005
    Messages:
    376
    Location:
    Boston
    I think someone should post a list of abbreviations for all us greenhorns. Thanks for the trip report, it did sound exciting.

    Can't wait to go!
     
  11. GNH2000

    GNH2000 Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2002
    Messages:
    395
    Location:
    Manchester,NH
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    11
    Again-

    GVJ- Great TR....Love the detail.

    >>>Thanks Mikey-

    The Victory Chimes...3-masted schooner sailing out of Rockland,ME as part of the Maine Windjammer Fleet.
     
  12. islandchild

    islandchild Tourist

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2003
    Messages:
    64
     
  13. gotavegasjones

    gotavegasjones VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2004
    Messages:
    2,824
    Location:
    South Texas
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    22
    Thanks for the reponses!

    Annie Vegas - GVR = Green Valley Ranch. Yeah, there is a code to learn. Keep reading the boards and asking the questions and it may become clear. Some of the lingo still leaves me clueless!

    GNH2000 - thanks and that is a great avitar.

    HurricaneMikey - thanks. We may come to Vegas in early August for another stay at GVR. If that happens, you'll be one of the first to know. I need more craps intruction! Stay cool bro. Maybe by then you'll be dealing poker somewhere?

    islandchild - I thought seeing the taxi-cab gal was a hoot. Maybe on your next visit?

    later, GVJ
     
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